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Monday, 03/04/2013, 11:22 am

EXCLUSIVE | TUF 17′s Clint Hester Talks Being Team Jones & More | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio

This season of The Ultimate Fighter has been downright entertaining and remarkably promising. The talent level is as high as any other past season and the focus level of the fighters seems to have shifted into overdrive. With two fights left in the first round of competition the show gives no signs of slowing down in intensity or entertainment in the coming weeks. Tomorrow’s TUF episode will feature the highly anticipated tournament debut of Clint Hester, a former professional boxer with wicked precision and vicious power-a combination that can easily spell success in MMA.

Luckily our boys over at Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio were able to hook up with Clint on Sunday night to discuss several topics concerning his time in the TUF house this season.

Clint first discussed how his popularity has shot up since participating on The Ultimate Fighter and how he has handled the process of becoming a fan friendly fighter:

“Now days its less signing autographs and more just taking pictures. People are always stopping you and wanting to take a picture. I try to make it a point to take a picture and shake everybody’s hands who either want a picture with me or just want the acknowledgment from me. So, it’s cool having people recognize you and ask you who you are at a fight or even being at the grocery store. It just shows you how many people are fans of this sport. It’s a great thing.”

Hester was then asked if he enjoys dealing with the fans everywhere he goes or if he has started to grow tired of always having to take pictures and acknowledge fans:

“Nah, nah. I definitely enjoy it. It’s like people put you on a pedestal and then like you meet them and it just seems like it makes their day that much brighter. You know what I mean? And I just like that feeling, that I might walk into a store and someone might get excited to see me and they be excited, like, ah man thank you for taking a picture with me. Like, they get so excited and that’s what makes me feel good about this whole situation.”

They then talked about the upcoming week on TUF and the weight issue Hester had to deal with heading into his fight:

“Well, I definitely woke up every morning and checked my weight. Checked my weight before I went to bed. And then after about the first two weeks of being inside the house I was just pretty much like, I’m just gonna stay around the 205-206 mark and when it’s time to make the cut I’m just gonna have to make a big cut because I’m not gonna kill myself and not be able to get the most out of training by trying to stay under 200. It’s just not feasible. My body is not hydrated enough, we’re working out twice a day and I need all my nutrients. So, like, I have to eat. I can’t eat so much, um, like Josh was telling me, quit eating the carbs after workouts. LI mean, I took his advice about the workouts and I dropped down to about 203-204 but it was still a relatively big cut but if I would have kept my mind on it I would have missed out on so much other stuff that I learned in the season.”

Clint also discussed his upcoming opponent on tomorrow’s show and how he felt about being a boxer going against a wrestler and having to deal with the clash of styles:

“I wasn’t going to beat myself up and I wasn’t going to lose the fight before I even fought. Like, mentally, the way you carry yourself. You can lose a fight before you even hop in the cage.”

“Like I say in all the interviews they show, I’m going to go out there and let my hands go.”

They then talked about the expectations and hopes of each fighter making it into the UFC at the end of the season:

“As the weeks go on, I would have to say that people started hoping to get a spot on the finale. But Dana White said a couple times that everyone in the house was fighting in the finale. So everyone is going to get that chance to fight for the UFC, like, a real UFC fight.”

They then discussed the issues and tension that arose around Urijah Hall after his remarks on last week’s episode of TUF:

“I got what he said but he could have said it in a different way. He didn’t think about what he was going to say before he said it.”

“The slightest thing can make him feel like he’s being ganged up on because of his past.”

“Sometimes he’s just misunderstood and I think he was misunderstood by some of the guys in the house.”

Hester, who is on Team Jones, then talked about his coaching staff on this season of TUF and how he is very happy with what he has learned from them and who he has connected with most:

“I was very happy with how the training sessions went. Like, they weren’t there to teach us a lot but they did teach us a lot. They taught us the necessary essentials that we needed in the fights. They didn’t try to teach us how to, like, throw the right hand. They taught us stuff that would work in the tournament and a lot of the stuff that they showed us would work in the tournament would work in regular fights so I feel like I brought a lot of stuff back to my normal training camp from off the show.”

“It just helped add more to my game and helped perfect moves that I’ve been working on this far in my career. Like, Bubba Jenkins being one of the coaches, I learned so much from him. Not a lot-a lot, but, like, I learned key things from him.”

 “He (Bubba Jenkins) was the coach I clicked up with most just because he has mastered what I need to work on. Like, he’s a top level, high level wrestler and that’s what I need to work on my game the most so I’m glad that’s why I kind of clicked up with him the most for the six weeks we were all in the house.”

Clint then briefly touched on what he and the other contestants talked about most in the house:

“Mostly we just talked about the tournament.”

Hester then gave the fans a gracious shout out and told them what they could expect from his fight on Tuesday night’s episode of TUF:

“We’re just going to go out there and put on a show. Hope y’all like it.”

For more of this interview check out the entire Fist-Ta-Cuff radio show here.

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